Property & Debt Division Involving Married or Unmarried Individuals

Property and Debt Division Under Virginia Law

This phase of a divorce case is referred to as "equitable distribution". The division of marital property and marital debt is typically the most complex and time consuming part of ending a marriage or long-term relationship. It is often the most hotly contested issue as well.

Since 1981, the attorneys at Wexell Milman have been achieving excellent property division results on behalf of married and unmarried individuals in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia. We understand the law and how it tends to be applied by our courts. We are experienced in all aspects of the property and debt division process and we have an extensive network of professionals with whom we work to value and/or classify our clients' property.

Classifying, Valuing and Dividing Marital Property and Debt

While spouses are free to agree in writing to just about any arrangement they want outside of court — marital property and debt division in a contested divorce is governed by the principles of equitable distribution. In real terms, a court order to divide marital assets and debts in a certain way will be based on what is equitable or fair under the circumstances after consideration of numerous statutory factors — not necessarily an equal division.

In contested and uncontested cases alike, there are tremendous benefits to having an experienced lawyer.

Working with expert consultants and witnesses, as needed, our attorneys conduct an exhaustive inventory of each party's assets and debts and determine whether they should be classified as separate, marital or hybrid (part marital and part separate)) property. The next step is to establish the value of the assets and debts that are subject to division. This may involve working with business valuation specialists, real estate appraisers or others, and includes the consideration of separate property which increased in value during the marriage.

We also consider tax issues and other factors that need to be accounted for in any final agreement. Often, this level of thoroughness pays off in the form of a favorable out-of-court property settlement.

Partition Actions

Our firm also offers assistance to domestic (non-married) partners in dividing jointly owned property — either in-kind (where the property is split into two separately-owned properties) or by sale (where an in-kind division is not feasible or practical and the court orders the asset or property be sold instead). In legal terms, this is known as a partition action.

For answers to specific questions you have about property division, debt division, partition actions or how the principles of equitable distribution pertain to your situation — call 703-539-5398 to schedule an initial consultation or contact us online.